Millennials A product of baby boomer missteps

Meg Fry//January 9, 2015

Millennials A product of baby boomer missteps

Meg Fry//January 9, 2015

What a way to throw down the gauntlet.Round of applause for Ross Pomeroy and William Handke at Real Clear Politics for giving a hoot and calling it as they see it.

“For the first time in America’s history, an entire generation of her citizens are poorer, more indebted and less employed than the preceding generations,” they write.

And as lazy and narcissistic as the older generations may paint us, according to Pomeroy and Handke — and us young things over at NJBIZ, too — millennials are not to blame.

“This is a classic case of blaming the victim,” Pomeroy and Handke said.

Here comes the boom — you ready for it?

We’re a product of the Great Recession.

Click here to read more from our Millennial Minded

Knocked around by an often failing and unstable economy, jilted by slow job creation, and suppressed by older Americans who bypassed retirement, we did what we were encouraged to do and kept financing our education.

(Hence why an overwhelming majority of “lazy” millennials still live at home or with roommates and publically commute to work.)

But what caused the Great Recession?

According to Pomeroy and Handke, it was the creation, perpetuation and ignorance of institutional, political and economic “ills” by our predecessors.

“If any generation is entitled, it’s our parents’ and grandparents’ generation: the baby boomers,” they said.

Man, did they hit this nail right on the head.

RELATED: Dear baby boomers: We’re not going away; here’s what the millennial mindset is all about

Their discussion of what “true entitlement” means is downright incredible and I encourage all of you to read their article to grasp its full weight — but here’s the facts:

Previous generations have allowed the national debt to triple over the last 25 years while implementing tax cuts and government programs to provide “short-term economic boosts” — leaving millennial wage earners to “receive a smaller portion of economic output at any time since 1929.”

They’ve all but depleted Social Security while fighting to the death for pensions — neither of which millennials will ever be privy to.

In reaping the benefits of low-cost energy, they’ve left millennials with the financial and social burden of caring for a scorched Earth.

And they’ve made it nearly impossible for us to start cleaning up their messes.

“The same baby boomer bloc that created or tacitly perpetuated the policies that have hamstrung millennials now makes up almost a third of the American voting-aged population and holds nearly two-thirds of the seats of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate,” Pomeroy and Handke said.

Despite everyone’s frustration, these incumbent House and Senate members have even been reelected 94 percent and 87 percent of the time over the last ten years.

So, yes — we’re frustrated, and we’re tired of being told how miserable of a generation we are when we’re simply playing the crummy hands we’ve been dealt (though, we could all be better about voting more often than not).

But I’ll leave Pomeroy and Handke to say it best:

“Perhaps we millennials are entitled: We seemed to think that baby-boomer politicians would enact much needed changes while we fiddled with our smart phones. We were definitely wrong on that one.”

Drop the mic.


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